In a pan, heat 2 tbsp ghee or oil. add 1 tsp mustard seeds.
When you hear the crackling sound of mustard seeds, it means they are getting cooked.
When the mustard seeds are crackling, then reduce the flame to a low and add 1 tsp cumin seeds along with 1 tsp chana dal and 1 tsp urad dal.
Stir and saute them on a low flame till the both the urad dal and chana dal become golden. Take care not to burn the dals.
Now add 1 or 2 dry red chilies and a pinch of asafoetida. Stir well.
Add 1/3 cup chopped onions.
Stir and begin to saute the onions on a low to medium flame till they turn translucent.
Then add the chopped green chilly, ginger, curry leaves. Saute for half a minute.
Add 3/4 cup chopped tomatoes,1/4 tsp turmeric powder and 1/4 to 1/2 tsp red chilli powder. You can also add 1/4 to 1/2 tsp vangi bath powder or bise bele bath powder instead of red chilli powder.
Mix very well and saute the tomatoes on a low to medium flame till the tomatoes soften.
Next add 2.5 cups water to this mixture.
Add salt as per taste. Check the taste of water and it should be slightly salty.
On a medium to high flame, heat the water and let it come to a rolling boil.
When the water comes to a rolling boil, lower the flame to its lowest. Then add the rava in 4 to 5 batches directly from the plate or with a spoon.
As soon as you add the first batch, immediately stir and mix very well.
Then add the next batch of rava.
Stir again. This way keep on adding and stirring the rava up to the last batch.
Quickly stir and mix well so that lumps are not formed. The rava grains absorb water and thus swell and get cooked.
Cover and allow the tomato upma to steam for 2 to 3 minutes on the low flame. Then switch off the flame.
Lastly add about 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves. Stir well.
Drizzle 1/2 tsp of ghee on each serving and serve tomato upma hot with coconut chutney or lemon pickle or lemon wedges.